Indonesia’s national oil and gas company Pertamina is set to embark on an in-depth study next month on the viability of its East Natuna asset, which is home to South-East Asia’s largest unexploited gas resource.

The East Natuna block, formerly Natuna D-Alpha, hosts previously estimated recoverable reserves of 46 trillion cubic feet of gas.

However, its remote location and high — about 70% — carbon dioxide content translates to development costs running to around US$40 billion.

Pertamina’s deliberations will look at novel technologies that could be utilised on East Natuna, with industry sources saying that carbon capture and storage (CCS) could be key to unlocking the giant gas structure.